Qualcomm won a small victory in its ongoing legal dispute with Apple over smartphone royalties. The Fuzhou Intermediate People’s Court in China granted two preliminary injunctions against Apple for the company’s alleged violations of two of Qualcomm’s phone patents—one for reformatting photos and another for managing apps on a touch screen. This essentially bans the sale and import of many iPhones—6s, 7, 8 and X models—into China, claimed Qualcomm. The latest phones—iPhone XS and XR—are not included in the ban because they weren’t available when Qualcomm filed the case.
Apple is appealing the ruling. The iPhone giant said the patents relate to features in an older operating system, iOS 11. iPhones are currently running on iOS 12. “All iPhone models remain available for our customers in China,” Apple said in statement.
The legal battle between the two date back to January 2017 when Apple sued Qualcomm for collecting royalties on the entire sales price of an iPhone. Qualcomm countersued soon afterwards. Apple has since withheld patent royalty payments, depriving Qualcomm of billions in revenue. Qualcomm CEO Steve Mollenkopf recently said that Qualcomm and Apple are “on the doorstep” of a settlement, while Apple denies any current settlement talks. The U.S. case is set to go to trial in San Diego on April 15th, 2019.